Fort in the Road
"The Ballad of Hopediah Plantar"
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The Plantars are excited to finally be leaving the valley to see what is beyond their horizons. However, just as they pass the sign exiting, Hop Pop reveals that he has written a road guide for safety, which practically limits their enjoyment on the road. Despite numerous eye-catching stops as well as an excuse for Bessie to go fast, Hop Pop refuses for any of the rules to be broken, one of which includes complaining about breaking the rules. The kids have finally had enough when Hop Pop refuses to stop at The Best Diner. As they sulk, Hop Pop announces that they have arrived at the Ruins of Despair which feature dome like stone structures.
Anne and Sprig trick Hop Pop into making a quick stop as they flee the fwagon with Hop Pop in pursuit. Anne and Sprig enter one of the ruins and come across a technological structure which a surprised Anne identifies as a computer. Against Hop Pop's wishes, Sprig pulls the lever revealing the structure to be a factory. Hop Pop ends up on the assembly line as Anne tries to rescue him while Sprig tries shutting off the machine. Using Hop Pop's book, Sprig shoves it into the disc slot of the computer; forcing the three to flee as the structure blows up.
Hop Pop is furious over them disobeying, and is further incensed when Polly took Bessie and the fwagon out for a joy ride while they were away. But when he suddenly realized that he has been suppressing all the enjoyment of the road trip for the kids, Hop Pop relents and admits that he was wrong. He decides to let up on the rules and heads back to get them all ice cream from the diner they had passed up earlier, as his way to make it up to them. As Sprig and Anne question what the factory was about, a robot emerges from the ruins, unseen by the group.